POLICY BRIEFINGS


Medicaid Enrollment Drops


According to analysis by the Medicaid and CHIP Payment and Access Commission (MACPAC) examining data from May 2017 to May 2019, enrollment in Medicaid and the State Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) decreased by 2.5% -- the largest drop over a 2-year period in over forty years. Of the 1.9 million people who fell off the rolls for these programs, many are still eligible for program assistance but are being lost to follow-up and similar program complications, including implementation of new work and income verification requirements. Fewer insured Americans could mean a spike in costs for insured patients and increases in uncompensated hospital care. An analysis of national and state trends for Medicaid and CHIP enrollment was presented and discussed at the MACPAC’s September 26 meeting.


Representative Nita Lowey to Retire


On Thursday, Nita Lowey (D-N.Y.) announced that she will not be seeking re-election in 2020. The 82-year-old was first elected to Congress in 1988 and is retiring as the Chair of the powerful House Appropriations Committee; she’s the first woman to hold that post. Lowey’s health care accomplishments include strong support for biomedical research and the Affordable Care Act (ACA); a focus on women’s health including authoring the Breast Cancer and Environmental Research Act and supporting the WISEWOMAN Program; and being a champion for families including authoring the Food Allergen Labeling and Consumer Protection Act which mandated clear, concise food allergen labeling and authoring the Sunscreen Consumer Right to Know Act which required the FDA to issue sunscreen standards. Rep. Rosa DeLauro (D-Conn.) announced her intent to run for the chairmanship of the Appropriations Committee in the next Congress. Rep. DeLauro currently chairs the Labor, HHS and Education Subcommittee.


CDC Issues Revised Vaping Guidance


On Friday, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released updated interim guidance to help clinicians assess, evaluate, manage, and follow-up with individuals who may have lung illnesses due to vaping. The guidance clarifies that clinicians should ask patients who present with flu-like symptoms about their vaping history, given the overlap in symptoms. The guidance also recommends that clinicians tell patients to stop vaping. This updated guidance replaces guidance issued by CDC in August.


Upcoming Congressional Hearings and Markups


Senate Special Committee on Aging hearing titled “Falls Prevention: National, State, and Local Solutions to Better Support Seniors;” 9:30 a.m., 562 Dirksen Bldg.; October 16

House Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, Education and Related Agencies hearing titled “E-cigarettes: An Emerging Threat to Public Health;” 10:00 a.m., 2358-C Rayburn Bldg.; October 16

House Energy and Commerce Health Subcommittee hearing titled “Legislation to Reverse the Youth Tobacco Epidemic;” 10:30 a.m., 2322 Rayburn Bldg.; October 16

House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations hearing titled “Broken Promises: Assessing VA’s Systems for Protecting Veterans from Clinical Harm;” 2:00 p.m., HVC 210; October 16

House Ways and Means Committee hearing titled “Investing in the U.S. Health system by lowering drug prices, reducing out of pocket costs, and improving Medicare benefits;” 10:00 a.m., 1100 Longworth Bldg.; October 17

House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs Women’s Task Force Roundtable Discussion titled “Trends and Opportunities in Interdisciplinary Research Regarding Women Veterans;” 2:00 p.m., 303 Cannon Bldg.; October 17


Recently Introduced Health Legislation


H.R.4669 — To amend title XVIII of the Social Security Act to provide for intelligent assignment of certain subsidy eligible individuals auto-enrolled under Medicare prescription drug plans and MA-PD plans. Sponsor: Rep. Stevens, Haley M. [D-MI-11]; Cosponsors: (3) Committees: House - Energy and Commerce; Ways and Means

H.R.4667 — To amend the 21st Century Cures Act to reauthorize funding for NIH innovation projects, and for other purposes. Sponsor: Rep. Sherrill, Mikie [D-NJ-11]; Cosponsors: (2) Committees: House - Energy and Commerce

H.R.4666 — To amend title XVIII of the Social Security Act to provide certain low-income territorial residents with automatic eligibility for premium and cost-sharing subsidies under the Medicare program, and for other purposes. Sponsor: Rep. Shalala, Donna E. [D-FL-27]; Cosponsors: (1) Committees: House - Energy and Commerce; Ways and Means

H.R.4665 —To amend title XVIII of the Social Security Act to provide coverage for certain vision items and services under part B of the Medicare program. Sponsor: Rep. Schrier, Kim [D-WA-8]; Cosponsors: (3) Committees: House - Energy and Commerce; Ways and Means

H.R.4663 — To amend title XVIII of the Social Security Act to require drug manufacturers to pay a Medicare part B rebate for certain drugs if the price of such drugs increases faster than inflation. Sponsor: Rep. Porter, Katie [D-CA-45]; Cosponsors: (3) Committees: House - Energy and Commerce; Ways and Means

H.R.4661 — To amend title XVIII of the Social Security Act to provide for the automatic qualification of certain Medicaid beneficiaries for premium and cost-sharing subsidies under part D of the Medicare program, and for other purposes. Sponsor: Rep. Pappas, Chris [D-NH-1]; Cosponsors: (1) Committees: House - Energy and Commerce; Ways and Means

H.R.4655 — To amend title XVIII of the Social Security Act to provide for certain rules regarding the treatment of eligible retirement plans in determining the eligibility of individuals for premium and cost-sharing subsidies under part D of the Medicare program, and for other purposes. Sponsor: Rep. Lee, Susie [D-NV-3]; Cosponsors: (2) Committees: House - Energy and Commerce; Ways and Means

H.R.4652 — To establish an Individual Market Reinsurance fund to provide funding for State individual market stabilization reinsurance programs. Sponsor: Rep. Langevin, James R. [D-RI-2]; Cosponsors: (2) Committees: House - Energy and Commerce; Ways and Means

H.R.4651 — To amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to expand health savings accounts, and for other purposes. Sponsor: Rep. King, Steve [R-IA-4]; Cosponsors: (0) Committees: House - Ways and Means

H.R.4650 — To amend title XVIII of the Social Security Act to provide coverage for certain dental items and services under part B of the Medicare program. Sponsor: Rep. Kelly, Robin L. [D-IL-2]; Cosponsors: (1) Committees: House - Energy and Commerce; Ways and Means

H.R.4649 —To amend title XVIII of the Social Security Act to provide for a cap on beneficiary liability under part D of the Medicare program, and for other purposes. Sponsor: Rep. Horsford, Steven [D-NV-4]; Cosponsors: (1) Committees: House - Energy and Commerce; Ways and Means

H.R.4640 — To require persons who undertake Federally funded research and development of drugs to enter into reasonable pricing agreements with the Secretary of Health and Human Services. Sponsor: Rep. DeFazio, Peter A. [D-OR-4]; Cosponsors: (0) Committees: House - Energy and Commerce



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BRIEFING ARCHIVE


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